Computer Vision Syndrome; and You Thought CVS was just a Pharmacy…

CVS?  You thought it was a pharmacy.

When an Optometrist or Ophthalmologist use the term CVS, they are referring to a increasing problem.

The acronym stands for Computer Vision Syndrome. The main symptoms of CVS, is eye fatigue, eye strain, trouble focusing on a computer, double vision, and dry eye.

Due to the everyday use of computers, cell phone screens and video games we’re discovering a whole new set of eye problems. These problems occur in adults as well as children who often spend hours  staring at one screen or another.

We’re discovering  people  who have no (vision) correction or they have correction that just focuses  on either distance or just up close. The computer is in between – which is referred to as intermediate vision.

CVS  symptoms can be caused by glare on the computer screen, poor lighting, improper viewing distances, poor posture and undetected vision problems. Add to that, that when we’re staring at a screen, we often forget to blink.
CVS generally occurs when someone spends more than two hours per day on a computer. Discomfort  increases with the amount of computer use. Patients will tell me, when I’m working at the computer and look away everything is blurry. Or my eyes feel dry and tired.

The human eye needs to generate more plus power to see up-close. So, when you’re looking up close for long periods of time your eyes kind of get locked into this narrow focusing position. And then when you look away they have to relax. Everyone’s eyes are unique , like a finger print so some eyes take longer to adjust or relax than others. As we age, our natural lens doesn’t have the flexibility which is why reading glasses or cheaters are often needed.

There are a few steps that may help. Eliminating glare is important; Cover up windows, position your  screen so overhead lights don’t create glare, buy lower wattage light bulbs and lastly remember to blink. Your eyes need a break. For every 20 minutes you spend on the computer, you should take a 20-second break looking off into the distance. That’s going to help your eyes relax and refocus at that distance target again. 

Annual eye exams are an important part of your overall health and well being.



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